Today was just one of those days …

Day Thirty Five: Wednesday 3rd August 2011

Performance Broadcast

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Born-Digital Archive Reference Code: IiS_P.B.38_2011-08-03_log-day-35
This file is no longer available due to a resource failure in the archive control procedures of the proprietary live streaming provider for Instability in Stability.*

So yesterday saw the advent of reality archiving but what is the reality of reality archiving? Well some days it can be an exciting treasure trail of documents jumping from one mediated format to another, surfing the net for interconnections of song titles, project research and chatting to a number of friends, and curious observers both within and outside the confines of the loft. But other days it is just a sea of boxes and paperwork. Today was just one of those days….

It started off really well. I was focused and determined to clear the huge pile of paper, cards and other ephemera I had so neatly divided up into specific groupings yesterday. I decided however it would be sensible to continue sorting out the yet unexamined “random folders”. This led to a huge pile of ‘stuff’ growing in front of me. I could not carry on without ending up back where I started, before yesterday’s broadcast, drowning in a confused ocean of documents screaming for attention or perhaps just calling to be ditched. I wasn’t going to give in to that little niggling voice saying – “You know what would be a hell of a lot simpler….just throw me away”!!! Whilst this is very tempting I am sticking to the opinion poll we took right back on day 2 and the decision that I have to archive everything in the loft space. Choosing to ignore the camera today I became a bit reclusive in the loft pulling out all the files from the shelves and compiling all of the loose papers with their corresponding files. I did not bother to explain what I was doing or the thought processes behind it. I just did it.

It was quite liberating to supress the needs of sharing and dissemination within the project today and to get on with the task in hand. Why do I need to explain myself? Why do I need to explain every connection? Surely in reality archiving the viewer can gleam an idea of whats happening within the space with out me continually talking? Or, perhaps half the fun of reality T.V. is actually seeing the contestants/families/celebrities talking a lot of shit and making a fool of themselves – well if it is the latter then hurray for last night’s “file this under e for embarrassing” stint.

Anyway watch the video you’ll see what I do!

Ha! No I’m not being lazy in describing what happened, I just think I should stick to my guns for once and let the documents do the talking. However, I will say that today brought up some major issues of commitment to the archive with a realisation of my ease of boredom with certain fragments of the archive (or perhaps I should re-phrase this to my constant desire for new challenges and differing interactive engagements with the object, to switch tack in solving the puzzle of the archive). This issue seems to stem from a difficulty with sustaining my interest in one set of documents long enough to complete their inventory and catalogue entries. When working with one item my descriptions tend to trigger alternative memories and ideas which connect memories to items I have in the loft. I then end up in a dilemma as to whether I organise everything according to memories or in a more practical and logical rationale (as it is inevitable that each item is always going to connect to a string of memories whether this is in relation to time, place, people, senses, emotions, etc. for myself and the audience as well as embody material and functional metadata).

I sit here now with a distinct sense that I am just “speed archiving”, rushing through a show and tell process of showcasing the archival objects before appraising, describing and assigning them. It feels like a version of speed dating that allows me just enough time to qualify what the document is, where it came from, what it does and what it communicates before assessing where it should go in the loft. It is a quick fire procedure to encounter the object and to become acquainted with its properties before a new thought pops into my head, or the need to move on to another object to exemplify what I am discussing as I rapidly travel between memories or idea. All the time I am thinking “I will come back later to talk about it some more”. Well I have good intentions to make a commitment to these items to return to give them enough coverage and to describe them in the archive fairly,  but you’ll just have to keep watching to see if I make a solid decision about the arrangement and description of each item by the end of the 12 weeks….!

To end today as promised during the broadcast  I would find a friend for Cedric the balloon and so I would like to introduce you to Mildred-Fiona. Cedric is a very happy red balloon who came into existence to celebrate the archive being one year older.  Mildred fled the archive nest to roam the lands around the Millwright residence and to welcome Cedric to the loft. Mildred is a fan of the boy-band photographs from last night so we may see her attempting to re-create some of the iconic images in the days to come.

ribbet!

*note added 25th April 2012

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